[JURIST] The government of Thailand [JURIST news archive] Wednesday banned access to the popular video-sharing website YouTube [corporate website] and several other websites that contain material deemed offensive to the country's monarch. The YouTube ban resulted from a video depicting King Bhumibol Adulyadej [Wikipedia profile] as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture that can amount to a criminal offense. The video, less than a minute long, has had more than 16,000 viewers. Google [corporate website], YouTube's owner, had refused to remove the video before Thailand blocked access to the website.
A similarly offensive video involving the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [Turkish News profile] prompted a Turkish court last month to order Turkish telecom providers to block access to YouTube [JURIST report]. The court lifted the ban [JURIST report] just two days later for unspecified reasons. The New York Times has more.